Pictured on the left of the maple tree (L-R) are: Marci Watson, Emily Henson, Susie Melton, Ellen Butler, Lennie Upchurch, Carol Hines, Marilyn King, Dr. Mary Jo Oldham Morgan (Arbor Day Chair), Liz Garrett (President of the Club) and Marilyn Ellis.
Pictured to the right of the tree (L-R) are Mark Stucker (Part-time Grounds Custodian at SIC), Danny DeNeal (Groundskeeper at SIC), David Wright (SIC Dean of Administration and Business Affairs), Ed Fitzgerald (SIC Director of Environmental Services), and Dr. Jonah Rice (SIC President).
The Eldorado Garden Study Club celebrated Arbor Day by donating a maple tree to SIC. The club has been donating trees to SIC for the past 10 Arbor Days with the hope of establishing a grove for the campus.
“SIC appreciates the annual tree donation from the Eldorado Garden Study Club, and our future students will reap the benefit of a shady grove of trees to enjoy because of their generosity,” said Dr. Jonah Rice, SIC President. “In honor of their decade of support to improve the campus landscape, we will honor them this year with a plaque at the end of the grove.”
Dr. Mary Jo Oldham, Arbor Day Chair for the Garden Study Club, spoke during the event about the origins of Arbor Day. She explained that J. Sterling Morton of Kansas Founded Arbor Day in 1872, and now every state in the U.S. celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday in April, as well as a number of other countries.
“Most holidays celebrate the past, but Arbor Day is a holiday that plans for the future with trees for the next generation to enjoy,” said Oldham.
Oldham reminded those present why it is important to plant trees – to fight global warming, improve air and water quality, prevent soil erosion, fight hunger (fruit trees), increase property values, and make a home for birds, among other reasons.
The Eldorado Garden Study Club was organized in 1946. Currently it has 25 members and is part of the Central Region of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. and the District VII Region of The Garden Clubs of Illinois. Throughout the years the club has worked on various projects which encourage the love of gardening and floral design and its members work to encourage environmental responsibility in themselves, their neighbors and in their community. The group is also celebrating Earth Day this month with a display in the Eldorado Memorial Library.